(Peterson Park: Northport, MI)
Kelly Conger

Remember the newness

and the tinfoil shine

of everything? My young

hands were eager.

The smell of new paint

as strong as nail polish

remover from nights

of friends staying up late

telling secrets like the song

of the swings in the wind.

We think we hear it whining

through the window frames

but blame it on the winds

of August. The swings

won’t shriek just yet.

The monkey bars won’t hold

your weight anymore.

The original color has faded,

and the bars look skinnier.

Is that only because my hands

have grown?

The swing sets don’t sit right.

The crusted chain links squeak

with ambition but not even

my violin voice

can start the shimmying.

Carved into the picnic table:

Pauli 231 226 7872

Stacey + Jim forever

Blaire loves puppies

Sam is fat

Congrats Betty!

Gosigers 1999

My arms now are long enough to climb

to the top of the oak tree,

sit and watch the swing sets yearn, the winter come.

This passing time when flowers die

and flakes of rust, like petals themselves,

fly over the lighthouse and land

on the stone beach, between grey rocks

and crawfish shells.

Kelly Conger is a senior at Interlochen Arts Academy where she has studied creative writing for four years. She writes fiction and poetry and attempts nonfiction. In her free time she likes to waterski when the weather is nice and read up on genetics and gene mutations. She recently went to math camp, and hopes to get into college soon.

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